Guest Artists Showcased Throughout the Village
Enjoy the sights and sounds of Wiscasset Art Walk on Thursday, July 31, from 5-8pm. The all-brass Breakers Jazz Band starts the evening with an outdoor concert on the Creamery Pier beginning at 5pm. At the other end of the Village, Lynn Deeves plays on the Wiscasset Common later in the evening. In between these two music locales, stroll the Village streets for fine art, music in the galleries, antiques, specialty shops, and other special events. What a chance for residents and visitors from away to explore some of the unique places and meet some of the local artists who make Wiscasset Village such a satisfying destination!
The Breakers Jazz Band, with musicians from throughout the mid-coast, brings a big and joyous sound to the Pier. You’ll be tapping, clapping, and swaying to the sounds of this 20-piece orchestra as they play traditional jazz tunes with their own unmistakable touch! While on the Pier, take a look at the art work of guest artist Elaine Niemi. She lives in Friendship and works in acrylics using a technique she calls ‘erasing.’ She applies color and then uses a brush to erase the color around the object she sees in the painting. Her work has been referred to as spontaneous and ‘outsider;’ her fans collect her and love her! Niemi says her art is always upbeat and never that “dark broody stuff.”
Wiscasset Bay Gallery is hosting classical guitarist Jonathan Waldo. In addition to his fine playing, the local musician is a master of stringed instrument making, including the guitar he’ll be playing during Art Walk. In John Sideli Fine Art, local retired dentist and accomplished musician Jeff Grosser plays continental accordion for the pleasure of gallery visitors.
Guest artists and artisans will be exhibiting throughout the Village. Mac’s Place hosts rug hooker Diane Langley. She lives on Westport Island and is a third generation rug hooker. She grew up surrounded by beautiful rugs made by her mother and grandmother. Her grandfather made several original patterns for her grandmother, including ‘Hollyhocks, which Langley will bring to Art Walk. (While in Mac’s Place, take a look at the all-original Paint By Numbers exhibit on the wall, curated by collector John Sideli!)
Sarah’s Café becomes a gallery with the encaustic paintings of Ken Eason. His paintings express abstract thought, emotion, and mood and are heavily influenced by the nature around him. He lives on the water which inspires him to integrate the blues and greens of the lake, ocean, and woods – seen abstractly in his paintings. “I am interested in the relationships between color and texture and use techniques that incorporate the use of brushes, pallet knives, spatulas, rags and many other tools to bring out the expressive point that I am looking for.”
Wiscasset artist Mat O’Donnell will be on hand in Treats to show his art and talk with guests. Mat began painting as a child; since the 1980s, he’s been painting iconic Maine images like cows in pastures, dwellings, and figures from Maine folklore. (After talking with Mat, be sure to step into the back room for Treats’ excellent selection of wines to taste.) Alna sculptor and board game designer Aaron Weissblum exhibits his rustic tables and other wood carvings in 106 Main. While some of Alan’s work is practical and useful, he also creates the odd, whimsical, and fanciful.
The sidewalks will be pulsing with art as well. Plein air artist Erik Minzner sets up his easel to paint a Village scene. William Paul, creator of custom-made jewelry using elegant Swarovski crystals, will be demonstrating his skills under a tent at 106 Main. Earlier in the day, pastel artist Anne Heywood’s summer retreat students paint throughout the town.
Is it Christmas in July at Butterstamp Workshop? Owners Lois and David Kwantz are offering selections from their life-long Santa collection for sale.
The Wiscasset Art Walk celebrates the community’s history, too. Take a peek inside the fabulous Nickels-Sortwell House to see the gorgeous winding staircase, the wood moldings hand-carved to look like rope, the skylight directing natural light into the center of the mansion. Wiscasset Museum in the Street plaques throughout the town illustrate the local shipping industry, the 18th century architecture, and the nuances of town life in the 18th and 19th centuries.
To complete the Wiscasset Art Walk experience, save a few moments for the Alive on the River concert, located on Wiscasset Common, listening to Lynn Deeves playing acoustic folk and blues from 6-8pm. You’ll see families with blankets, bikers, folks with picnic dinners. The concert series is organized by the Wiscasset Chamber of Commerce; the Deeves performance is sponsored by Sprague’s Lobster Bake and Friends of the Wiscasset Art Walk.
Undecided where to go first? Pick up a map listing this month’s Art Walk participants, all within a comfortable strolling distance, at any of the Village shops marked with colorful balloons. Guest artists and musicians are showcased on the map, as are the evening’s special events.
Wiscasset Art Walk is held on the last Thursday of the summer months. Still to come are August 28, and September 25, from 5pm – 8pm. Major Sponsors are Maine Arts Commission, The First, Carleton Realty, Ames True Value, and Carriage House Gardens; sponsors include Big Barn Coffee, Carl Larrabee Insurance Agency, Fogg Art Painting Restoration & Custom Framing, and The Shady Lady. For more information about participating in Wiscasset Art Walk as an artist, performer, volunteer, or sponsor, please contact event coordinators Lucia Droby at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ann Scanlan (207) 882-8290.